After getting inquiries on how I take the running pictures I post to Instagram and use in my blog, I started a five-post series on taking quality running photos. Today’s tips will include photo editing techniques that make your running pictures stand out. In case you missed the four previous posts or would like a refresher, please check out the following links:
- Six Camera Angles For Taking For Taking Interesting Running Photos
- Fourteen Tips For Using Interesting Backgrounds When Taking Running Photos
- Four Tips For Creating Colorful Running Pictures
- Five Tips For Brightening Up Your Running Pictures
Hopefully, the tips in my previous posts have been helpful and you’re well on your way to capturing great running pictures. You’ve learned to look at the entire image you’re about to capture, not just the subject; and to look at the subject from interesting angles. You’ve now on the lookout for natural ways to brighten your picture and use color to make your pictures stand out.
With a little planning put into your pictures, you won’t need to make major edits to your photos, saving you valuable time. The best laid plans; however, don’t always pan out and even photos taken with the best of intentions need a little TLC. It’s rare that I don’t do some sort of editing to my pictures before they make it onto my blog or one of my other social media platforms.
My editing tool of choice is Camera +, available for $2.99 in the iTunes app store and well worth the one-time fee. There are many other photo editing apps available so take a little time to pick out what you think will work best for you.
Using both my Camera + and my iPhone Photos apps, the photo editing techniques I focus on most include…
- Cropping the picture in closer
- Straightening the image
- Moving my subject to either side of the picture to follow the one-third rule
- Enhancing the photo’s clarity, intensity, and vibrancy
- Brightening the entire image
As I’ve mentioned before, I usually shoot in video mode and then select the best frame to use. This allows me to pick out the exact point in my stride I want to use, something very beneficial when taking action pictures.
For the following picture, I set up my GoPro (affiliate link) to capture me running past the partially frozen pond. When selecting the frame to grab, I focused mainly on my form knowing I could make other changes once I started editing.
The first thing I did was crop the left and bottom of the picture removing the house and much of the grass in the foreground. By cropping a large portion of the left away, my image was moved away from center creating more of an illusion of movement as the viewer focuses on the direction I’m running. Another trick I often use when taking running pictures is that I look away from the camera, again making the viewer follow my lead and look toward the point of interest (in this case the pond), rather than me.
I’m not always guaranteed even ground on which to set my little tripod (affiliate link) so straightening the picture becomes necessary. Also, because I shoot in wide angle, the trees in my pictures curve toward the center and sometimes I straighten the picture so they aren’t so curved. Of course, if straightening the picture messes up my form making me look like I’m leaning forward or backward, I’ll let it slide.
And finally, this picture appeared washed out so I enhanced the intensity and vibrancy to bring the color up to more true with that of my clothes.
When I’m looking for a totally different angle, I unfold my selfie stick (affiliate link) as I did in the following picture where I wanted to capture the ice-lined creek.
Again, I cropped the picture in closer to make the creek a larger part of the picture. Had I turned to look toward the creek, the emphasis would have shifted more toward the water; however, once I enhanced the picture, the reflection of the trees in the water make the creek pop. Besides, sometimes it’s fun to give the camera a cheesy smile.
I took the following picture while on a run at the farm during the holidays. I find this particular area that I run past to be very relaxing, and the sunrise added to the beauty of the scenery.
I cropped the white plastic covered hay bales out of the picture since they were a distraction from the rustic scenery. Doing so also enlarged the barn, making the Christmas star a noticeable little surprise. Enhancing the intensity, vibrancy, saturation, and bringing out highlight details makes the clouds and foggy sunrise pop.
Now that I’ve given you some ideas, grab your camera and go have some fun!
- What photo editing techniques do you use?
- Do you take running pictures? If so, do you take them during your run or after you finish?
- How often do you use a camera, not your phone, but a camera?
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on the blue product link and then make a purchase, I will receive a commission for referring you. You will pay no more or less for the product; however, Amazon will show their gratitude for my referral by paying me.
Those are great tips and it’s fun to see the original and final product. I find it takes so much time just to stop and take pictures. I don’t have the dedication to use a GoPro, tripod, etc. I may try harder when it’s warmer out!
Grabbing the single frame from the video takes time, and then there’s editing, and then… Sometimes I feel like I spend all my time working on pictures, so you can imagine why it takes me so long to write my race recaps. 😉
I take more “on the run” pics in the warmer weather since I don’t want to have to deal with digging my phone out of my layers in the cold (and I seldom have it with me on the actual run anyways). A lot of my pics are taken after I finish, so I have to get creative with the background (no one wants to see my front door in every pic) and camera angles. I also do a lot of creative cropping…like you, I seldom leave myself dead center in the pic. I go through phases of shooting candids vs. standard “cheesy smiling” selfies, too.
I always love your stretching and planking pictures after your runs. I do carry my phone with me in case of an emergency and I need to call for help while out running.
[…] Thursday – Five Photo Editing Techniques That Make Your Running Pictures Stand Out […]
Thanks for the tips. A lot of times I know my pictures need something more like, brightness, highlights, increased saturation, etc, but I have no idea which element to choose!
I can not remember the last time I used a real camera!
Just play around with the different edits until you get what you like. Sometimes if my picture is way too dark, I’ll go crazy on the edit just to salvage the picture. It looks highly edited, but kind of fun. I’m using my little Canon camera less and less because why carry something extra when my GoPro and iPhone take such good pictures.
I always love your tips! I need to work on the angles a little more but I also love camera plus
I’m glad to hear you enjoy my posts with running photography tips. 🙂
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